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Automaker Automobili Lamborghini and historic Swiss watchmaker Blancpain have partnered to attract male consumers with a penchant for luxury goods.
In celebration of Lamborghini’s 50th anniversary, Blancpain has signed on as the main sponsor for various festivities throughout the year, including the exotic car maker’s Grand Tour, which kicks off today. A motorcade of 350 sports vehicles will depart from Piazza Castello in Milan, travel around the country and pass through Italy’s Trebbia Valley, the Tyrrhenian seaside resort of Forte dei Marmi and the ancient streets of Rome. The convoy will conclude its journey on May 11 in Sant’ Agata Bolognese, the car maker’s headquarters.
Historic Lamborghini cars on tour include three 350 GTs, five 400 GTs, 17 Miuras, eight Espadas, two Jaramas, six Urracos, 15 Countachs, one LM 002, 21 Diablos, 36 Murcielagos and 123 Gallardos, the most successful Lamborghini model of all time. Participants include drivers from 29 countries, including the United States, China, the United Kingdom and Germany.
Blancpain and Lamborghini first joined forces in 2009 for the Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo racing tournament. The series also runs in various Asian cities and will be held on several U.S. tracks this summer.
To complement the Trofeo series, Blancpain introduced the limited edition L-evolution R at the Baselworld watch fair in 2012. Integrating white gold and carbon fiber in the case, the watch is a symbol of the brand’s highly sophisticated sport chronographs and a tribute to its detailed watchmaking tradition. With its aviation features and red trim, it is directly inspired by Lamborghini’s “Raging Bull” motif. The watch has done particularly well in China.
“I see no end to this partnership,” Alain Delamuraz, Blancpain’s vice president and marketing director told WWD on the sidelines of a press conference to reveal the start of the Grand Tour here on Tuesday. The conference was held at the Pirelli Foundation headquarters in Milan.
Delamuraz said that in addition to the Evolution series, the brand has high hopes for the latest version of its iconic Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe diving watch model, which incorporates the latest watch industry developments such as a silicon balance spring.
Delamuraz said that slowing economic growth in China is troubling, a problem that luxury carmakers are facing as well as they brace for slowing sales due to increased competition and more sluggish conditions.
“Lamborghini is still in a good position,” said Stephan Winkelmann, president and ceo of Automobili Lamborghini, which is controlled by Volkswagen AG, Europe’s top seller of cars.